Cocktail contest seeks perfection

Global drinks competition, last year won by a Scot, returns on a larger scale

SCOTTISH bartenders will be fighting to retain a world title in the coming weeks with the launch of the latest cocktail competition for Tequila brand Patrón.
The Patrón Perfectionists competition, which was won last year by Edinburgh bartender Mike McGinty, was launched earlier this month.

• The 2016 winner was Edinburgh bartender Mike McGinty of The Voyage of Buck.

The 2017 contest will see more bartenders competing than ever before as Patrón has expanded the competition to cover 18 countries.

We are proud to see the competition return on this scale, bringing new talent to the bar.

Entrants have been sought from Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, China, The UAE, Israel, Mexico and Canada as well as the UK.
Five regional heats will take place across the UK between July 12 and August 8 before the UK final in the autumn.
The winners of the regional heats will travel to Mexico for the semi-final on January 17, 2018; if successful, they will go through to the global final the following day.

“We are proud to see the competition return on this scale, bringing new, up-and-coming talent to the bar with fresh ideas on what it takes to be a Patrón Perfectionist,” said Lee Applbaum, chief marketing officer for Patrón Spirits International.

“The bartender community is a global community, brought together by a common pursuit for pure excellence in crafting drinks and delivering an experience for guests.

“This year, as ever, the bar is raised and we are excited to discover mixologists who experiment with the flavour profiles and versatility of Patrón Tequila and who understand and share our values.”

The long road to victory for McGinty, general manager of The Voyage of Buck, started when he won the Scottish heat in September 2016 with his concoction The Bell of Jalisco, a blend of Patrón Reposado, chamomile-infused vermouth and a yellow bell pepper shrub.

Last November McGinty advanced to the semi-finals by beating six regional winners including award-winning Mayfair bartenders Matyas Busek from Mr Foggs Residence and Raffaele Di Monaco of Park Chinois in their home city of London.

He then travelled to Mexico in January of this year to represent the UK in the semi-finals and finals of the contest.
All finalists enjoyed an exclusive tasting event hosted by master distiller Francisco Alcaraz at Hacienda Patrón before battling it out for the title of Global Patrón Perfectionist – which was subsequently won by McGinty.
“The name of my cocktail, The Bell of Jalisco, is a reference to the bell peppers that have been used and the belief that Patrón is the ‘belle’ of Jalisco,” said McGinty, after winning the event.

Visiting Hacienda Patrón in Mexico for the final was a once in a lifetime experience.

The bartender said that winning the contest helped raise his profile as a mixologist as well as that of his bar and said it was an incredible event.

He added: “Visiting Hacienda Patrón in Mexico for the final was a once in a lifetime experience.
“To compete against hundreds of my peers and come out on top was a fantastic feeling and to see the response from the bartending community and my customers has been humbling and exciting.”

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The Bell of Jalisco

• 30ml Patrón Reposado
• 12.5ml chamomile-infused dry vermouth
• 25ml grapefruit IPA
• 20ml lemon juice
• 20ml yellow bell pepper shrub

Method: add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, shake and double strain into a glass.
Garnish with a dehydrated lime and chamomile flowers.